OLM December 2020

It’s 3:09 AM, and I am compelled to share some things with you about being in my ninth calendar decade despite my 73 year age. This time of life is a new game. At 17+ or – I was bulletproof, able to rappel down cliffs or climb up them. In my 20s and 30s my career was of vast importance to my family, and I would work with broken bones and hide the associated weaknesses. In my 40s and 50s I did the grind which produced income and accomplishment from the decades of accumulated knowledge. In my 60s, I taught and managed others on how best to get the job done.  The 70s are a whole new experience.

Astonishingly, in this decade one learns new things. They are usually subtle changes, but they add up. Earlier, I wouldn’t have thought much about snoring, or grinding my teeth at night. After cracking three molars and losing two of them, I started wearing a mouthguard. Inconvenient, but I love and care about my remaining teeth a lot more than at 17 when I roared down mountain roads at over 70 mph on my bike.

I don’t want my kids to say, “he was so healthy and then he was just gone.“ Yet, I also don’t want to worry them over chest pains that may just be from the meal at Thai-phoon. They have enough challenges with their own problems.

When you’re in your 70s, you discover the power of prayer and realize all the connected miracles that have happened to you and others you know. This can be an incredible source of happiness and a prescription for combating depression. Prayer is your final work up until the last moment when nothing else is working properly.

Old lives matter because you can ask seniors anything. The vast majority of them want to prevent you from making the same mistakes they made.  You can learn from their pain. They may not know how to write an Excel macro or get their cell phone alarm turned off, but they can probably tell you how to save your marriage or keep from getting fired.

There are many things I missed asking my parents. Why didn’t I find out about my great grandfather’s war? Why is great grandma‘s sewing thimble so tiny? How do you get a good nights sleep with all that is going on during the hours of darkness?

Take advantage of this free resource. Old people need purpose, and maybe your questions can become the most respectful thing shown to them. The Oldest Person you know is The One we question the most. I have given up asking Him “Why” and now focus on asking him “what next, Father?” If 2020 hasn’t taught us anything, at least this year has taught there could be a lot of next “whats.”

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